TikTok fans no longer have to worry about the end of the app after the announcement of its purchase by Oracle, a U.S. technology corporation. The prominent app has grown in popularity during quarantine and is now a staple in many American’s smartphones. Claims that TikTok was a threat to national cybersecurity and that China would use it to spy on American citizens in order to gain intel prompted lawmakers to push for its ban.
The Chinese tech company ByteDance currently owns TikTok. President Trump restricted U.S. citizens from engaging in financial exchanges with the corporation when he signed an executive order in August that took effect starting Sept. 20.
Controversy surrounding TikTok’s security concerns prompted India to ban the app, and Japan is considering doing so also. However, there is discussion surrounding countries banning the app since some people believe the bans stem from political reasons, not only security concerns. President Trump has had a contentious history with TikTok, which has prompted skeptics to believe that banning the app may have political underlying. In June, Tik Tok users posted videos urging people to reserve seats for Trump’s Tulsa rally and then not show up which received millions of views. The turnout for Trump’s rally was significantly lower than expected and news outlets ran stories on how teens on Tiktok humiliated the President.
After President Trump’s order that TikTok needed to sell its US operations by Nov. 12, the race to acquire the popular app began. Fans of the platform have been anxiously awaiting its purchase and taken to the app to make comedic videos about mourning the app’s ban. Large creators joined the trend by posting videos of themselves trying to find a normal job when TikTok meets its untimely end.
Microsoft was the top contender in the acquisition of TikTok. They have one of the largest platforms on the market and enormous spending capabilities. Since the app’s ban was announced, Microsoft has made no secret of their intent to buy the app. Even though they were expected to win the bid, their offer was rejected by ByteDance, who publicly announced they refused to sell TikTok’s algorithm to a U.S. bidder and would only sell U.S. data and operations. Oracle, the only remaining U.S. company in the race, was just announced to have won the bid for TikTok.
Details regarding the deal made between the two companies have been limited, but ByteDance confirmed that their relationship with Oracle will be a partnership in which Oracle is considered by ByteDance a “trusted technology provider” who will take over U.S. operations.
“[We] can confirm that [they have] submitted a proposal to the Treasury Department which [they] believe would resolve the Administration’s security concerns,” a TikTok spokesperson told NPR.
Since news broke of TikTok’s purchase, there have not been any comments made by prominent creators on the app. However, U.S. fans of TikTok will be grateful to learn that the app’s ban has been resolved, at least temporarily.